About Hearing Loss
Each year, millions of Americans report some degree of hearing loss. By the time they're 65, 1 in three people has a hearing loss. Many people faced with hearing loss are a part of the workforce. As their hearing loss increases, they face a loss of productivity, followed by a decrease in compensation. About 2-3 of every 1,000 children born in the United States each year are born with a detectable hearing loss in one or both ears. Today, about 15% of school-age children (ages 6-19) in the United States have some degree of hearing loss.
Hearing loss is one of the biggest public health issues facing Americans today - behind arthritis and heart disease. It affects people of all ages, in varying degrees of severity: mild, moderate, severe, or profound. People with congenital hearing loss are born without perfect hearing, while gradual hearing loss happens over period of time.
Hearing loss can be a difficult affliction because others can’t see it, only its effects. These may be attributed to aloofness, confusion, or personality changes. Noise and aging are the most common causes of hearing loss in adults, with a strong relationship between age and reported hearing loss. Changes in the inner ear that happen as we age cause a slow but steady hearing loss. It can be mild or severe, and it is always permanent.
Noise-induced hearing loss may happen slowly over time or have a sudden onset. Exposure to everyday noises, such as listening to very loud music, or a noisy work environment can lead to hearing loss over many years. Noise-induced hearing loss from gunfire and explosions is the number one disability caused by combat in current wars.
In many cases of hearing loss, severe tinnitus (ringing in the ears) accompanies the hearing loss and can be just as debilitating as the hearing loss itself. Other causes of hearing loss include earwax buildup, a foreign object in the ear, injury to the ear or head, ear infection, or a ruptured eardrum.
Do you or a loved one...
understand what is said?